When you try to pick out the top players in any position, the wide receiver role is by far the hardest to single out the best ten. My top Quarterback and Running back picks (CLICK TO VIEW) came easy since the names at the top tend to be the same each year. Aside from 3-4 names who have become the “head of the class”, the rest is wide open. Each season seems to present a new, young talent who revolutionizes the position with talent, strength, and speed. Even those names that seem to be at the top each Fantasy Football season, have swapped positions a few times.

There are several things to look at when picking a receiver. Are you looking for someone with a good QB running the offense? How can the WR be successful if he doesn’t have someone who can get the ball to him? Is the team’s running game important to you? If the running attack cannot take pressure off the passing game, defenses will play back and have an effect on the receivers. Or, is that player just good enough to depend on, in spite of all the previous factors?

I don’t know if you can place any more importance on one factor over the other, but instead, need to try to cultivate
every factor into your rankings. Some players may just be dynamic players, while others are in the perfect system. In hind sight, we’ll say that one factor won out, but how will you choose TODAY, before any games are played?

Here are my Top 10 Fantasy Football picks at the Wide Receiver position:

10. JULIO JONES – Atlanta Falcons
We saw glimpses of his talent last year, but it was the tip of the iceberg. We have already witnessed in this season’s early Preseason games how dangerous this guy can be. I believe ATL will be on a mission this year, and he will be a huge #2 target for QB Matt Ryan.

9. VICTOR CRUZ – New York Giants
If you saw the final weeks of the 2011-12 NFL season, as well as the Playoffs, you witnessed the “coming of age” of Cruz. It was almost like a switch was turned on, and he turned into this dynamic, flamboyant weapon for the Giants. With the loss of Mario Manningham, he is an even begin target this season.

8. WES WELKER – New England Patriots
I almost dropped Welker even lower, or out, of my top 10. He will always be a high-activity player and give you around 100 yards each game. That’s all good, if you was 9-12 points from that position. But once Rob Gronkowski and the other TE’s became the go-to-guys in the offense, Welker’s production faltered. Do you really think they are going to go away from that this season?

7. MIKE WALLACE – Pittsburgh Steelers
We expected to see the benefits of the speedy receiving core in the Steel City last season. It actually seemed like it would be the season that the offense started carrying more of the weight. After last season’s embarrassing ending, the offense will realize that it has to step up, and Wallace will be at the forefront of that effort.

6. GREG JENNINGS – Green Bay Packers
Jennings has always been a strong target, but has also been a victim of circumstances. He just happens to have the best QB in the league and other good receivers on his team, which takes away some of his production. But he will still be their #1 option, and it he can stay healthy, look for even better numbers than last season.

5. HAKEEM NICKS – New York Giants
Nicks’ abilities have already proven themselves. He is a goal line target, a middle-of-the-field threat, and a long ball threat. Most rankings don’t have him in the Top 5, but if he can put together an injury-free season, that will change next season.

4. RODDY WHITE – Atlanta Falcons
White put out almost 1,300 receiving yards and 8 TD’s last season. He also led the entire NFL by being targeted 180 times. It’s hard to argue against that kind of star power. I can see his stock increasing with the potential threat that co-worker Julio Jones brings to the table, which will take pressure off White.

3. ANDRE JOHNSON – Houston Texans
Once the top rates receiver in the league, now Johnson is a “Wild card” at the position. He hasn’t had a healthy season in years, and played only 4 games last season. (not including the Playoffs) Many will stay away from picking him quickly this season, but you cannot deny the numbers a healthy Andre Johnson brings to the table. I haven’t given up on him putting up huge numbers yet.

2. LARRY FITZGERALDArizona Cardinals
You can put Kurt Warner, Matt Leinart, Derek Anderson, John Skelton, or Kevin Kolb at the quarterback and it doesn’t change the production that you’ll get from #11. The Cardinals line him up on any, and every receiver slot, and he burns defenses from any and every slot. This season will continue with that trend.

1. CALVIN JOHNSON – Detroit Lions
I will explain my reasoning for making “Megatron” my número uno for those who may have never witnessed him playing football. If you have seen it with your own eyes, you need no synopsis. Almost 1700 yards and 16 touchdowns is impressive, but it’s the manner in which he did it that makes all the difference. Goal line. Long bombs. Double coverage. One handed. Falling out-of-bounds. If he can stay healthy, I honestly believe he can smash every receiving record out there. Take it from a guy who has had him on at least one of my teams for the past 3 years, and enjoyed the fruits of his labor, this guy should be your only consideration if you are lucky enough to take the first receiver of the board.

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